Item description for Du Cote De Chez Swann (Collection Folio) by Marcel Proust...
Download DescriptionI Longtemps, je me suis couch de bonne heure. Parfois, peine ma bougie teinte, mes yeux se fermaient si vite que je n'avais pas le temps de me dire: Je m'endors. Et, une demi-heure aprs, la pense qu'il tait temps de chercher le sommeil m'veillait; je voulais poser le volume que je croyais avoir encore dans les mains et souffler ma lumire; je n'avais pas cess en dormant de faire des rflexions sur ce que je venais de lire, mais ces rflexions avaient pris un tour un peu particulier; il me semblait que j'tais moi-mme ce dont parlait l'ouvrage: une glise, un quatuor, la rivalit de Franoisier et de Charles-quint.
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Marcel Proust was born in the Parisian suburb of Auteuil on July 10, 1871. He began work on In Search of Lost Time sometime around 1908, and the first volume, Swann's Way, was published in 1913. In 1919 the second volume, Within a Budding Grove, won the Goncourt Prize, bringing Proust great and instantaneous fame. Two subsequent installments--The Guermantes Way (1920-21) and Sodom and Gomorrah (1921)--appeared in his lifetime. The remaining volumes were published following Proust's death on November 18, 1922: The Captive in 1923, The Fugitive in 1925, and Time Regained in 1927.
Marcel Proust lived in Auteuil. Marcel Proust was born in 1871 and died in 1922.
Reviews - What do customers think about Du Cote De Chez Swann (Collection Folio)?
At last! A readable copy. Aug 22, 2008
This is not a literary review (We all know what Swann's Way is about), but my way of expressing relief that at last I have a readable copy of it. Out goes my old Folio paperback with its miniscule print -- Hooray!
PROUST ON THE SIDE OF SWANN'S Sep 5, 2001
Marcel PROUST (1871-1922) through his 'RESEARCH OF THE TIMES LOST'(published l913-27) carries us to a mental paradise. Analysis of the sub-conscious is the main characteristic of this fictionised reminiscence, for which the author has used long complex sentences. Otherwise the human characters involved and their situations are described vividly.
"DU COTE'DE CHEZ SWANN" is the first book of this long series. It is based on romance of the COMBRAY of his young age,in which the innocent sensibility of a child is mellowed with the craving sensuality of the adolescent.A number of interesting characters emerge with their contradictions, cruelty, hypocrisy, snobism, irony and mind conditioning. The first book is the best book.
AUNT LEONI enjoys her last days within confines of the bed room. She keeps abreast with the street life through direct window observations supplemented by more informations FRANCOISE and EUTALIE bring. She receives only those friends who know what to tell her but, amusingly, she cannot prevent the priest from droping in and tiring her from his disenchanting show of knowledge.
Family member, kitchen chief, and Personal Secretary to AUNT, FRANCOISE, could not be a less personality, offering from matured life experience 'expert' opinion on many a matter. She respects the time table and wishes of her Mistress in minute details, all the time preparing for the imminent change of command to the narrator's mother. From the long association, Aunt and Francoise know ins and outs of each other's psyche.Aunt on occasions to herself detests FRANCOISE astoundingly,while the latter grudges any small gift the former gives to poor and deformed Eutalie. Francoise shows great affectation on human suffering in abstraction, but derives sadistic pleasure from it under her eyes. She would cause every possible affliction to the kitchen girl - pregnant, in travail or allergic - till she runs away vacating place for Francoise daughter.
An unorthodox M. SWANN is family friend with property in the neighborhood. Often he dines in the house and brings presents as requested or by himself.When he comes,the dinner is prolonged to late night hours and the boy narrator misses the sweet good-night kiss of his mother. The stream-of-consciousness description of the unique night he could retain Mother in his bed-room is breath-taking; it motivated writing this book and the series.
Mother reads out from the book for the boy Proust and with what an elegance: 'Sentences seemed written for her tender and melancholy voice...She infused into the prose a continuous sentimental life!
Parents take the boy to evening walks either to the side of Swann's property, or towards that of GUERMANTES duchy. These provide the first two subtitles of the Proust's "Research".
One evening, he returns tired of a long walk. Then at the very sight of the familiar backyard, "the ground moves for him in that garden without he having to take a single step forward".
The lunch hour is advanced on Saturdays by one hour for Francoise's sake. It impresses all afternoon activities up to heavens: "After the lunch, even the sky appears to have changed face; the sun, conscious of it being Saturday, loiters one hour more on celestial heights".
As the book advances, Swann's image grows slowly and steadily till, in the second part, he is the hero. A non-conformist to the social prejudices of his time and class, humble, kind, considerate, lover of music, literature and women, Proust acclaims him in these words: "Swann of the charming errors of my youth, our life, musium of his time's all familiar portraits, full of leisure and perfumed by all the best of nature".
M. VINTEUIL gave lessons of piano to Aunt Leoni in her early age, and hoped to edit a day his original compositions retained more in memory than in writing. His daughter comes under the influence of a known lesbian and the affectionate father, for her sake, tolerates the woman under his own roofs. Vinteul has been very severe to youngsters for a least misdemeanor,and after this humiliation too, remained a proud fault-finder for others. He dies, however, soon crushed and suffocated. His daughter loved and respected him, but under the spell of carnal pleasure, swallowed all insult the woman inflicted on the old man living or dead.
M. LEGRANDIN is a writer. When at Combray, he showers the young narrator with poetic kindness: "May the heavens be ever blue on your life, my young friend...be careful to keep some open sky on you...All the ear can hear now is the moonlight music on the flute of silence!" On the litmus of personal experience, however, he turns out to be only an erudit miser who, with empty words "could build a castle of ethics and a universe of geography without admitting a word of truth" which would benefit a friend.
It is unforgetable to read how a small event like tasting a tea-soaked piece of cake triggered, in narrator's memory, that vivid emergence of the long forgotten Combray. Remember the church tower of Sainte HILLAIRE, omnipresent in the town. It haunts PROUST henceforth wherever he goes as a symbol of something exquisite and intimately his. "I turned into a street, still looking for my way...but..it was in my heart!"
Proust's prose abounds in beautiful expressions as already quoted and as in this praise of BERGOTTE: "With confidence and joy I wept on the writer's page as if in the arms of a rediscovered father", and thoughtful socio-psychological observations as "Our social personality is a creation of others' thought. Even the simple act of seeing a person is partly an intellectual act."
The world of Proust is vast and deep. We can touch his soul and meet his Muse only under infinite peace of mind.